Re: Allophone Problem
|From:||And Rosta <and.rosta@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, June 7, 2007, 18:58|
Joseph Fatula, On 06/06/2007 10:51:
> I'm having a problem analyzing the phonemes of a language. The sound
> [e] only appears before voiceless consonants, while [i] can appear in
> any other environment. This leads me to think that they're allophones
> of each other, except for the following problem. Voiceless fricatives
> become voiced between vowels, yet the [e] in such cases remains unchanged:
> - [nef] > [neva]
> - [niv] > [niva]
> Among words with the "-a" suffix, this [e] vs. [i] distinction is the
> only thing showing the difference between words like [neva] and [niva].
> Are these minimal pairs? Are [e] and [i] separate phonemes?
IMO, we're definitely dealing with one phoneme, if [neva] is never monomorphemic.
/nif + a/ [neva]
/niv + a/ [niva]
(The "IMO" is important, bcs I insist on morpheme boundaries' visibility to phonology.)
With nods to Roger's excellent msgs in this thread.